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Nice guy.  Have some blogs.  Do baseball research.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Matt Harvey, who's your daddy?

Matt Harvey needs a grownup to protect him from himself.  Adult athletes will still act with childlike enthusiasm and try to play when they should not.  Right now there's too much irresponsible emotion trending against Harvey's best interests.  The principals are:

- Matt Harvey, star pitcher of the New York Mets who had serious "Tommy John" elbow surgery and may need to be shut down to protect his arm
- Scott Boras, Harvey's agent
- Sandy Alderson, Mets general manager.

So far, I see no villains, except for the usual media types who are running their mouths about how Harvey should pitch even if Harvey has a doctor's note excusing him from work.
Scott Boras December 15, 2010 by MissChatter, via Wikimedia Commons
It's way too easy to paint these three people as:
- Harvey: prima donna
- Boras: egomaniac super agent
- Alderson: selfish club executive.

Mets management's excuse for getting caught in this predicament: hey, we thought we sucked.  The Mets never figured that it would be an issue as it had been for another young pitcher.

Matt Harvey and Michael Pineda: shut down like Stephen Strasburg? Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Stephen Strasburg was shut down a few years ago so that he would not throw too many innings and pitches too soon in his career.  Will that happen to other pitchers?  For instance. the two leading pitchers in New York in 2015: Met Matt Harvey and Yankee Michael Pineda?

Strasburg has seemed to have generally benefited.  In 2014 Strasburg led the National Conference in starts (34) and strike outs (242), throwing 215 innings...

All three pitchers have had arm problems and been shut down.  Harvey missed all of 2014.  Pineda missed 2012 and 2013...

Harvey and Pineda have pitched more than 76 innings only once each: Harvey 178 in 2013, Pineda 171 in 2011... 200 innings.  Who thinks the Mets and Yankees will let them jump to even that many innings for the season? ...

What the New York teams could and probably should have done is what Washington should have done with Strasburg when they knew that he would be limited in innings and pitches.  They should have them report at least two months after the normal start of spring training.  Then be prepared to begin pitching for the big league team about June 1.  That resolves all the issues, including extending them into the tournament.
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Strasburg's team, the Washington Nationals, paid a price in the tournament and both the pitcher and the team have been the subject of accusations that they lack fortitude.  That seems unfair, just as it is to imply it about Harvey.

In recent years we have started to understand that players who suffer head injuries should be checked for concussions and then removed from games immediately and not allowed to play until the danger of further serious head trauma has passed.  Previously, a player's courage was challenged.  The attitude about a pitcher's arm is pretty similar and should be reconsidered.

An arm injury to a pitcher is the single most serious injury that a baseball player can suffer.  It ruins his career.  The mound is no place for a hero.  The grownups need to protect those with childlike aspirations.

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